Goldfish do eat algae. Goldfish are omnivores. They eat both plant and meat-based food. Goldfish are always on the lookout for food, and so if algae are found in the aquarium, they will eat them. Eating algae in moderation is not harmful to goldfish, but it is not nutritious either.
Algae are commonly found in a freshwater aquarium. So, let’s understand all the factors related to algae, and if they are harmful to your goldfish. But first, let’s see what algae are and how they form.
What Are Algae, And How They Form?
Algae are a multi-cellular plant-like organism that’s commonly found in water. However, they have no roots, stems, and leaves.
Brown and green color algae are most commonly found in freshwater aquarium.
While brown algae can be easily cleaned by wiping, green algae are tough to clean.
They need to be scraped away and are not easy to get rid of.
Algae are initially formed during the first few weeks after setting up a new aquarium for your fish.
Also, you will usually find algae in the natural habitat of the fish too.
Algae are formed in an aquarium in the initial weeks and help prepare the tank for an ecological balance similar to that of your goldfish’s natural habitat.
Forming of algae is quite common, and there is nothing to worry about as long as the growth is in control.
If you find algae blooming at a fast pace, you can control the growth by introducing algae-eating fish in your aquarium.
Even your goldfish will be more than happy to sight and eat the algae around the aquarium.
Now, let’s see if algae are good, or do they harm goldfish?
Is Eating Algae Good Or Bad For Goldfish?
Algae is neither good nor bad for goldfish. In simple terms, eating algae will not do any harm to goldfish.
At the same time, it will not provide any nutritional benefits to goldfish either.
However, you should keep an eye on the growth of algae in your aquarium.
Since goldfish love eating food, they will continuously eat algae if it’s found in excess in the surroundings.
Anything eaten in moderation is good, but over-eating is hazardous.
Similarly, if your goldfish just keeps on eating algae throughout the day, they will not be too keen to eat the other food served by you.
Feeding your goldfish a well-balanced diet is essential for their optimum growth.
Okay! Now that you know algae are not harmful, you might be wondering if excess algae can lead to the death of your goldfish.
Can Too Much Algae Kill Goldfish?
Algae is beneficial to the aquatic ecosystem. However, excessive algae can lead to the death of goldfish.
Some algae release toxic compounds in the water that are dangerous to goldfish.
At night, just like humans, algae inhale oxygen and release carbon dioxide.
Due to this, algae extract oxygen from the water. This can lead to depletion of oxygen levels in the tank water.
Goldfish can die if the oxygen levels become too low.
Okay! Now that it is apparent that excess algae are harmful, let’s understand if overfeeding your fish can cause a rise in the growth of algae.
Does Overfeeding Goldfish Cause Algae Growth?
Just like plants, algae thrive on the waste excreted by goldfish.
If you overfeed your goldfish, they will excrete a lot of waste. Overfeeding will also result in a lot of leftover food in the tank.
Thus, the waste excreted by your goldfish and the waste created by leftover decaying food acts as a food source for the algae.
So, overfeeding your fish often results in algae growth in the aquarium.
One of the simple ways to keep the algae growth in check is to not overfeed your goldfish.
You should provide as much food as is required for the proper growth of goldfish.
Also, by limiting the waste in the aquarium, you will create a healthier environment for your goldfish.
Now, algae are common and natural in the aquarium. So, what can be done to control or get rid of algae in your fish tank?
How To Get Rid Of Algae In A Goldfish Tank?
Just like live plants, algae need water, light, and nutrients to grow.
If these three things are found in excess in your aquarium, there will be algae growth.
Your aquarium cannot do without water, as it is a pre-requisite for your goldfish to live.
However, the other two things can be controlled.
Getting rid of algae completely is difficult.
At the same time, it is also not advisable to eliminate algae entirely from the fish tank as some of it is required for the growth of your goldfish.
Given below are the things that you can do to reduce algae growth in your aquarium:
- Reduce Lighting: Lighting is the primary source for algae growth. Sunlight helps in the growth of algae. So, you can place your aquarium in such a way that it does not face the sun. If you have artificial lights in the tank, use them only to the extent required. The lights in your aquarium should not be lit for more than 8 to 10 hours a day.
- Avoid Overfeeding: Your goldfish should be fed in small portions and as much as they can eat in about 3 to 5 minutes. The leftover food should be cleaned immediately. Overfeeding increases the phosphate level in the water and encourages algae growth in the aquarium.
- Frequent Water Changes: Water needs to be clean for your goldfish to thrive. Regular water change reduces the chances of algae growth.
- Live Plants: Live plants play a very vital role in controlling algae growth in the aquarium. If you have plants, then both plants and algae require the same source of food. Live plants will absorb the majority of the nutrients that algae need to thrive and grow. Due to fewer nutrients available in the water, the growth of algae will be reduced.
- Algae-Eating Fish: Apart from living plants, there are algae-eating fish that can be introduced in the aquarium to control algae growth. The algae-eating fish will keep on munching on the algae and eventually reduce the number of algae.
- Maintaining Tank: Proper maintenance of your tank is another way of controlling the algae growth. You should not entirely depend on live plants and algae-eating fish to clean your tank. If you notice algae on the rocks, glass, or anywhere else in the tank, you can clean it yourself. You can scrub the algae and vacuum the gravel whenever you perform the water change. This will ensure that there are no excessive algae.
Alright! Now that you understand how to control algae in your aquarium, let’s also talk about the algae-eating fish that you can keep along with your goldfish.
The Best Algae-Eating Fish That Can Be Kept With Goldfish
To have algae in moderation in an aquarium is quite normal and natural. It is often considered the sign of a healthy aquarium.
However, if the growth of algae is high, it can be dangerous for your goldfish.
In such a scenario, it is always advisable to control algae’s growth by introducing some algae-eating fish to the tank.
Now, you should be careful in introducing any fish to your aquarium.
The algae-eating fish should get along with your goldfish.
It should not happen that in the quest to cut down on algae growth, the other fish starts to harm your goldfish.
Also, your goldfish should not eat the other fish, and it should have enough space to grow in the aquarium.
The two best algae-eating fish that can be good tank mates for your goldfish are rubber-lipped plecos and longfin bristlenose plecos.
These fish are peaceful and will get along with your goldfish.
They spend most of their time eating algae from rocks or grass and also help in keeping the tank clean.
You should not introduce other common plecos as they have a habit of sucking the goldfish’s slime coat.
Your goldfish can get sores on their body if the slime is removed or damaged.
Why do algae grow too much in number? The main reason for algae growth is the lack of proper maintenance of the aquarium. Frequent and partial water change is essential to keep the growth of algae in control. Apart from water, intense light or lack of proper lighting also results in algae growth in the aquarium. Besides, even change in temperature as per seasons and overfeeding the fish also contribute to algae’s rapid growth. So, fish that eat algae are the best solution to reduce algae’s exponential growth in the aquarium.
What kind of animals eat algae other than fish? Apart from fish, you can even introduce individual animals that eat algae to your aquarium. Frogs, shrimps such as amano shrimp, cherry shrimps, ghost shrimps, and bamboo shrimps, and snails such as rabbit snail, malaysian trumpet snail, and ramshorn snail are among those who eat algae. They are best suited for an outdoor pond, or you can even introduce them to your fish tank.